Anna Calvi has been making music of ineffable beauty for nearly a decade now—and has in the process won admirers the likes of Brian Eno, Iggy Pop and Charlotte Gainsbourg. And at this moment, when politics and plagues have made the world around us seem so noxious and ominous, it is a particular sort of blessing that she has just gifted us with something that stands so defiantly athwart all of that ugliness.
Indeed, new album Hunted is a stunning collection of acoustic reworkings of seven tracks from her 2018 longplayer Hunter, with guest collaborations including Courtney Barnett, Joe Talbot, and Gainsbourg herself.
We are most taken with a new version of “Swimming Pool,” featuring Julia Holter—and which, in this form, makes us imagine what it would be like if Siouxsie Sioux had a go at Led Zep’s “Rain Song.” Indeed, with its liquid guitars, and her elegantly haunted voice imploring, “Come down to the swimming pool / Down we will dive / Down to the night of the earth / Come down to the swimming pool,” it’s an otherworldly journey to somewhere decidedly more cosseting and fantastical than reality.
“Julia has such an amazing ability to color her music in unexpected ways,” Calvi enthuses. “Her creativity and originality always astound me. I had no idea she was going to do a choral piece on ‘Swimming Pool,’ but I was so pleasantly surprised when I heard it back. She’s added something so unexpected, and yet something that feels so beautiful and perfect for this song.”
Calvi will be doing select North American live dates this spring, including an April 6 appearance at Rough Trade in Brooklyn, as well as Coachella on the 18th—before spending the summer at the European festivals.